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    Everything You Need to Know About Living in Southwest Florida

    City dwellers, early retirees, and investors are making their way to Southwest Florida in search of more space, a booming economy, and a higher quality of life. However, buying a home in the Sunshine State is just the first step towards becoming a Floridian. As you settle into your new home, use these resources to get to know your Southwest Florida community.

    What to Know About Moving to Florida

    • New Florida residents have 30 days to obtain a Florida driver’s license. However, you’ll need to register and insure vehicles within 10 days of establishing residency.
    • Car insurance rates may give new residents sticker shock: Florida has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country. Luckily, there are tactics to lower your cost.
    • Speaking of insurance: New homeowners shouldn’t forget flood and hurricane coverage when purchasing homeowners insurance in Florida.
    • Don’t let these extra costs scare you away from buying a home in Southwest Florida. With no tax on personal income or intangible assets, Florida enjoys one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the country.

    Finding a Job in the Sunshine State

    • Healthcare, education, and retail dominate Southwest Florida’s job market, but job seekers can find opportunities across a wide range of industries.
    • Many newcomers to Lee and Collier counties are bringing jobs with them. Here’s what to consider if buying a home for remote work.
    • The Ft. Myers, Naples, and Cape Coral area is also a great place to start a business. Local business owners can access a variety of resources including the Lee Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Resource Network and Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise program.
    • Struggling to find the right job opportunity? Visit CareerSource Southwest Florida for job listings, career services, and more.

    Education in Southwest Florida

    • Choosing a school in Southwest Florida varies by county. Collier County students attend their neighborhood school or apply for an out-of-zone school. In Lee County, families rank school choice by preference.
    • Private schools are also a popular pick with Southwest Florida parents.
    • Do you have a college-bound high school student at home? Florida has a wealth of scholarship and grant opportunities for residents.
    • Unfortunately, Florida discontinued its Complete Florida Degree Initiative for adult learners in 2020. If returning to a traditional college or university is too intimidating, consider a real-world degree from an online school.

    Southwest Florida Healthcare Providers

    • Quality healthcare is a top priority for many newcomers to the state. Luckily, several local hospitals rank among the best in the nation.
    • Florida uses the federal healthcare exchange. That means consumers searching for an ACA-qualified plan apply at
    • Florida’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is known as KidCare. Adults can check their Medicaid eligibility here.
    • SHINE is Florida’s State Health Insurance Program serving older adults with Medicare information and assistance.

    More Resources for Getting to Know Southwest Florida

    There’s a lot to love about living in Southwest Florida. Whether you’re a remote worker, a retiree, a young professional, or a growing family, let these resources take you from buying a house in SW Florida to making this community your home.

    Ready to find that perfect home? Get in touch with Kevin Bartlett of Realty World J. Pavich Real Estate, SWFL’s most innovative real estate team. Get in touch with Kevin today by stopping by this website or calling 239-826-1891. 

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